12/12/08 11:29PM beginner racing, circle track, dirt track, drag, dwarf cars, family fun, learn to race, off road, open wheel, Racing, rally, stock car

Dwarf Cars
A Great Way to Break into Racing

Dwarf Cars


Since they're designed for competition on dirt, Dwarf Cars have a lot to offer racers looking to develop car control skills.


Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the family-owned Dwarf Car Company has been in operation since 1987 and Casey Cain (son of founder John Cain) says his father has been building the cars for racing since 1984.


If you have ever seen a Dwarf Car from a distance, you may have mistaken it for the more popular Legends Car because they are quite similar. The main difference is a Dwarf Car is designed to be raced on dirt, while a Legends Car is normally more at home on asphalt, although Legends sometimes race on dirt. Dwarf Cars lack fenders because the mud from dirt tracks tends to collect under them and bog the car down with extra weight. A Legends Car has fender sover all four wheels.

 The philosophy we've always had is the Dwarf Cars are a good way to provide low-buck racing, but they are also fast and very competitive," says Cain. "From what I've seen, you can buy a competitive used car for around $5,000-$6,000. Brand new cars run about $10,000-$11,000."

 Dwarf Cars have been around for at least 21 years and are popular in the Midwest and on the West Coast. "A lot of the things we do are designed not only to make the car inexpensive to buy, but also inexpensive to race," Cain continues. "Most of the divisions have an engine claim, which is designed to keep a person from spending an extra four or five grand on their engine. These cars are powered by motorcycle engines, and there is more than enough power available to spin the wheels, so there really isn't much need to spend a lot of money to get even more power out of them. Most divisions also stick with a street tire compound. In terms of durability, you can run these tires on dirt all season long without any problems. That's a big money saver because racers in most types of cars will tell you their tire bill is their biggest expense."

 Cain says that Dwarf Car racing is popular both among young drivers looking to gain skill and move up into bigger, more powerful race cars,and drivers looking to enjoy the thrill of racing for minimal expense.He even points out that the current NASCAR Nextel Cup champion got his start racing in the cars.

"The cars are limited to what you can do to make them fast," Cain adds,"so the keys to getting around a track fast are driving experience and finding the right chassis setup. The more seat time you get, the better.That's especially true on dirt because the track can change so much. One weekend you might race on a heavy, wet track, and the next weekend it will be dry slick. You have to develop an understanding of what you have to do to the car and how you have to drive it for the conditions you are racing on. Once you have gained that experience and ability in a DwarfCar, it will be useful to you in just about anything else you will everdrive on dirt."